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enquiry (03-02-2003)
Dear Sirs,

I'm writing because I need you to help me obtain the Spanish nationality. I think I am entitled to it because my father was a Spaniard.

I have several of my father's documents, such as:

Spanish Passport, death certificate, baptism certificate and the certificate that proves that he complied with the military service. The only document I did not have is his birth certificate (Until a while ago).

I went to the Spanish Consulate in Caracas to apply for the Spanish nationality and they requested me to present my father's birth certificate. Until that moment I knew that that document did not exist, my father had obtained all his documents presenting his baptism certicate. With great effort, we finally convinced the Consulate to search for my father's birth certificate. Now I find myself in a problem with which I would like you to help.

We found out that my father's name is a different one from the one appearing in all his documents; that is to say, my grandmother registered him as "natural son" giving him her last names José Ignacio Ferrero Pavón and the problem is that in all official documents he appears as José Ignacio Quesada Ferrero.

I should let you know that one of my father's sisters still lives in a little town of Andalucia's south. My concrete enquiry is whether you can help me fix this situation for me to, once and for all, be able to obtain the Spanish nationality.

I was born in Caracas, I am fifty years old and I am of Venezuelan nationality. I'm interested in knowing whether I am entitled to the Spanish nationality in case I may want to go there someday, but I want to have the Venezuelan nationality as well.

I would very much appreciate your comments to start dealing with the necessary formalities as soon as possible.

Miguel Ángel Quesada Jiménez  

Note: All first and last names have been changed, any similarity with reality is a mere coincidence.
answer (4-01-2003)
Dear Mr. Quesada:

My name is Ángela Godoy Valderrama, I am a lawyer of the Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Málaga, col. n° 4211, I have been assigned your case and I am available for anything you need from now on.

I will give you the information you have requested, classifying it in " sections" which I consider important for you to easily understand it all:

1-. First section: A modification to the Civil Code regarding the Spanish nationality has been passed.

The new nationality law has been passed on October 9, 2002, and is already in force.

Regarding the new nationality law, you should know that, among its several points, it contemplates the children of Spaniards, whose father or mother have been born in Spain. With no age limit.

Therefore, your case is contemplated in one of the points dealt with by the new nationality law. “You are the son of a Spanish father, born in Spain”.

To prove this, the submission of your father's birth certificate, among other things, is necessary.

2.-Second section: But, of course, here we find ourselves with the problem of the lack of coincidence between the last names of that certificate and those of the rest of your father's documents.

For that reason, we first have to rectify the data appearing in the birth registration on the Civil Registry to make it match the real data.

I believe there will not be much difficulty in solving this problem.

To perform said rectification, it will be necessary to file a "GOVERNMENT RECORD"(for the rectification of last names). I will explain to you in detail all the steps to follow:

A.-It would take from 4 to 6 months for this record to be filed.

B.- You have to present yourself at the Civil Registry of your place of residence. (That is to say, you have to present yourself at the Spanish Consulate in Venezuela).

C.- Any citizen may change his/her last name by means of this formality.

Consequently, anyone with a "legitimate cause", provided he/she does not provoke damages to third parties, may perform this alteration. It may not be done arbitrarily.

3.- Third section: Regarding your case, articles 92 through 97 LRC, included under the Title VI of the Civil Registry Law of June 8, 1957, make reference to "Rectification and other proceedings", related to registration entries.

This possibility of modifying errors performed at registration is contemplated precisely on article 93 of the Civil Registry Law when it says that "With a previous filing of a government record, the following may be rectified (among others):

"The afore-mentioned errors of identity -related to registrations-, provided that it is undoubtedly established by the remaining circumstances of registration".

That is to say that, if other data, as in this case is the mother's identity, your name, the date and place of birth and the father's identity if it appears in the entry, the person in charge of the Registry will consider that it has been indeed an error at the first registration and that it will consequently be necessary to rectify it.

4.- Fourth section: The Civil Registry Code, in its decree of November 14, 1.958, establishes that the changes may include segregation of words, enclosing, transposition or omission of letters or stresses, omissions of articles or particles, translation or graphic or phonetic adaptation to the Spanish languages, and substitution, interposition or enclosing of other first or last names or part of last names or other analogies, within legal limits.

5.- Fifth section: The following are requisites for the application for the alteration of last names:

a.-That the proposed last name be real and not one created by the interested party.

b.-That the last name or last names that are to be joined or altered legitimately belong to the applicant.

c.-That the last names resulting after the modification do not come from the same line.

6.- Sixth section: Formalities and documents:

The record is filed by means of a written application addressed to the Minister of Justice or to the General Director of Registries and Notaries (Director General de los Registros y del Notariado).

This application has to be submitted to the Civil Registry corresponding to the place of residence of the applicant, enclosed to the following documents:

- Document of application for alteration of name.

- Literal certification of the beneficiary's birth registration.

- Document that proves, in your case, its use or any circumstance on which the application is based. (For example, all of your father's personal identity documents on which the last names “Quesada Ferrero” appear).

- Generally, in different instances, it is convenient to submit the baptism certificate and present witnesses.

7.- Seventh setion: The law also gives other possibilities for the submission of the application with the corresponding documents.

It may be sent by certified mail to the Civil Registry corresponding to the applicant's place of residence; or it is even possible to submit it through an Administrative

8.- Eighth section: Once the rectification of the requested data has been performed, you will dispose of the birth certificate, at the corresponding Registry, to be able to initiate the formalities of the application for the Spanish nationality, by means of origin.

When the time comes, you may contact me and I will inform you of all the necessary documents to deal with said procedure.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need clarification of any of the points mentioned in this letter.

With Kind Regards,

Angela Godoy Valderra.
enquiry (10-01-2003)
Dear Ángela, thanks for your answer and for the information you provided me, I have been gathering all the necessary documents.

I have been to the Spanish Consulate in Venezuela and they tell me that, according to the requisites mentioned in article 205 of the Civil Registry Code, it is probable that there may be some difficulties in the process of the registration's rectification and, therefore, it is difficult that the alteration of the requested last name be granted.

Could you tell me something about this?

On the other hand, you tell me that I have to submit a document, do I have to write it myself? Can you write it for me? What would be the price of this document?

Thank you for your help.

answer (11-01-2003)
Dear Miguel:

Administrative formalities are not always easy.

I really do not think that we will have any problem in obtaining the requested rectification.

On my previous message, although I did not mention it, I was making reference to article 205 of the Code, which establishes the necessary requisites in this case, (I remind you of them):

.-That the proposed last name be real and not one created by the interested party. We have completely complied with this requisite.

.-That the last name or last names that are to be joined or altered legimately belong to the applicant. Requisite fulfilled.

.-That the last names resulting after change do not come from the same line.

This may be the problem they are referring to. However the resulting last names “Ferrero Pavón”, do not come from the same line. We want to have your father obtain his parents last names. I do not see a problem in this case.

In the document we have to prepare to present at the Spanish Consulate in Venezuela, we would include all legal foundations available.

In any case, Miguel, do not worry about it, because article 58 of the Law passed on June 8, 1957, regulator of the Civil Registry, modified by the Law 40/1999 on First and Last Names and Order of the Same establishes, in its last paragraph that:

“In all these cases, opposition may be founded on any reasonable cause".

And article 60 of the same law for the alteration of first and last name establishes that, in any case, a fair cause and no damages for third parties are required.

If application for proposed rectification was denied to us (which I do not think will happen), we could present an opposition document based on the previous arguments. There is fair cause for the request you are making.

If you wish, I can write the document for you, I do not know how long it will take me to do it, but it is a relatively simple text. I will consider the time it will take me and I will send you an estimate of the price via e-mail. I would send the text also to your e-mail address in Word format.

Go again to the Spanish Consulate in Venezuela and tell them all I have just told you. I hope you do not have any problems now.

With Kind Regards,

Angela Godoy.

enquiry (14-01-2003)
Dear Ángela,

Thanks again, I have gone to the civil registry of the Spanish Consulate again. This time, to avoid misunderstandings, I brought with me a printed version of your answers to have the employee read them, and it seems there will not be any problems anymore. I have already prepared all the documents you have told me to. And this afternoon, I have received your document.

I have only one question left: you mentioned in your first answer that I should present witnesses, is it absolutely necessary for me to present witnesses?

answer (17-01-2003)
Dear Miguel

I'm glad you already have all the documents ready, as regards the witnesses, they are not an essential requisite unless the Consulate specifically requires them. Provisionally, it seems that with the birth certificate and the rest of your father's personal documents, it may be enough for the rectification of the last names to be performed.

With Kind Regards,

Ángela Godoy.

enquiry (20-01-2003)
Dear Angela.

I have submitted all the documents. They told me that I will not have to submit anything else. Thanks for all your help. I will contact you again, for you to help me apply for the Spanish nationality, the moment I receive an answer from the registry.

I will contact you soon.

Best Regards,

to establish in Spain
Case assigned to:

Ángela Godoy Valderrama
Lawyer col. n° 4211 del Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Málaga
State: Payment fulfilled

Price of consultancy:

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